Part of the Bay Area News Group

MDUSD appointments/assignments for 2013-14

By Theresa Harrington
Friday, August 16th, 2013 at 2:01 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

Because the Mt. Diablo school board and superintendent tend to make administrative appointments and reassignments over a period of months, I am compiling a list of the appointments and reassignments made thus far for 2013-14 (that I know about), along with who was replaced (if I know) and current vacancies:



Cambridge Elementary Principal: Jose Espinoza (8/14) (Promoted from YVHS vice principal, replacing Liane Cismowski, who was appointed Principal of Mt. Diablo HS by interim superintendent)

El Monte Elementary Program Specialist for Categorical Programs: Jennifer Molino (8/14)

Meadow Homes Elementary Program Specialist for Categorical Programs: Margo Peckham (8/14)

Mt. Diablo HS: Vice Principals Akilah Byrd and Christopher Beischel; and Student Services Coordinator Heather Morelli (8/14)

Pleasant Hill MS: Vice Principal Jane Abell

Shore Acres Principal: Cathy Chan (6/17) (Replacing Elizabeth Block, who retired)

Ygnacio Valley Elementary Principal: Linn Kissinger (6/17) (Replacing Christine Richardson, who was promoted to SASS)


Interim Superintendent: John Bernard (5/20) (Replacing former Superintendent Steven Lawrence, whose contract was terminated a year early April 25 in a 3-2 board vote)

Interim General Counsel: Jayne Williams (5/6) (Replacing former General Counsel Greg Rolen, whose contract was terminated a year early April 25 in a 4-1 board vote)

Assistant Superintendent, Pupil Services and Special Education: Kerri Mills (ratified 6/3) (Replacing Mildred Browne, who retired with a board-approved separation agreement that included a paid leave of absence during the last year of her contract)

Administrator of Equity and Disproportionality: Jonathan Roselin (promoted 8/14 from Assistant Director of Student Services)

Educational Consultant/Behavior Management Specialist: Karen Miller (8/14)

Food and Nutrition Services Supervisor: Deanna Robles (6/17)

Interim Transportation Coordinator: Tom Bishop (8/14)

Measure C Assistant Construction Manager: Rhonda Abreu (8/14)

School Support Administrator: Chris Holleran (6/24)

School Support Administrator: Christine Richardson (5/6)

School Support Administrator: Juliana Sikes (6/17)

Special Education Program Specialists: Avrilio Moumoutjis and Cynthia Remis (8/14)

OTHER RETIREMENTS (not mentioned above):

SASS: Administrators Linda Hutcherson and Helena Postrk

Special education program specialists: Hunt Lin, Berry Murray and Melody Royal

Crossroads Continuation High School Administrator: Pam Neudecker

Ygnacio Valley HS Principal (later transferred to Gateway): Sue Brothers



Ayers Elementary Principal: Susan Petersen (transferred from Director of Elementary Education position, which was eliminated to create another SASS administrative position)

Crossroads Continuation HS: Kate McClatchy (transferred from principal of MDHS, replacing Pam Neudecker, who retired)

Oak Grove MS English Language Arts Program Specialist: Jenny Cronan (transferred from principal of Woodside Elementary)

Mt. Diablo HS Principal: Liane Cismowski (transferred from Principal of Cambridge Elementary to replace Kate McClatchy, who was transferred to Crossroads Continuation HS)

Sequoia MS Interim Principal: Vivian Boyd (replacing Connie Cirimeli, who was hired as principal of a San Mateo MS)

Woodside Elementary Interim Principal: Ava Suddath (replacing Jenny Cronan, who transferred to Oak Grove MS)

Ygnacio Valley HS Principal: Stephen Brady (promoted from Northgate vice principal, replacing Sue Brothers, who was transferred to Gateway and then retired)



Superintendent (Finalist Nellie Meyer may be appointed Aug. 28)

General Counsel (interim general counsel contract runs through Sept. 9)

Assistant Director of Student Services (vacated by Jonathan Roselin’s promotion)


Northgate HS: Vice Principal (vacated by Stephen Brady’s promotion to YVHS)

Sequoia MS: Principal (Vacated by Connie Cirimeli, who was appointed Principal of Borel MS in San Mateo)

Woodside Elementary: Principal (vacated by Jenny Cronan’s transfer to OGMS)

Ygnacio Valley HS: Vice Principal (vacated by Jose Espinoza’s promotion to Cambridge Elementary)

I realize this may not be a complete list of current openings. District jobs are posted at:

Are you concerned about the number of administrative jobs that still need to be filled 12 days before school starts?

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

22 Responses to “MDUSD appointments/assignments for 2013-14”

  1. anon Says:

    Th, did the two program specialists listed above replace other program specialists? If so, who did they replace?

  2. Theresa Harrington Says:

    All of the program specialists appointed Aug. 14 were listed as “vacant positions” on the agenda:

    I don’t know know if they replaced other program specialists.

  3. Anon Says:

    District program specialists gone are: Berry Murrey, Hunt Lin and Melody Royal

  4. teacher Says:

    Linda Hutcherson also retired from SASS. I don’t think I saw her name.

  5. Md tech Says:

    I’d like to see our district spend as much time and consideration on helping teachers as they do with all of these appointments. Guy Moore recently addressed the board about the ongoing contract negotiations. He spoke to them about making our district a ‘destination’ district again. It would be so great if we could attract the best teachers around, and if our teachers who work with students everyday felt valued and that their families could feel that as well. As someone who sits on interview teams for our district, I can say that there are times when there are limited choices. I would love to see people trying to come to the MDUSD again, instead of putting In a few years then moving on to greener pastures. We need to be those greener pastures.

  6. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Thanks, I added her above.

  7. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Thanks. Do you know if they resigned or retired? (I can also look at past board actions.)

  8. Doctor J Says:

    New job posting on Friday Aug 16 “until filled”: Assistant Director, Student Services/Special Education- 2013-2014 School Year. Job description approved 1998.

  9. PatG Says:

    The opening I’m most concerned about is for the superintendent. Shame on the Board of Education for putting the district in this position. There was no legit reason to fire the previous superintendent. He was doing a good job under difficult circumstances.

    I don’t think the district has an unreasonable number of vacant admin positions. There’s always some turnover. There’s not much the district can do when a principal quits for a better opportunity elsewhere. Ugly incidents like the one at Woodside are unpredictable. I don’t blame the district for the vacancy there. They’ve brought in experienced temps to stand in until permanent replacements are found for the principals.

    It’s not good that we don’t have a general counsel, especially with the incident at Woodside. That’s more self-inflicted damage by the idiots on the Board.

  10. Lorie Tuey Says:

    Theresa Harrington – Do you know where the Andrea Uhle, who was the Vice-Principal at Pleasant Hill Middle School went? I am sad to see her leave PHMS, as are many other parents. She was a great VP. She has helped many students feel secure and comforatble at PHMS, when other children would mess with the quiet and good kids. My family and I are going to miss her.

  11. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I just called the PHMS office and was told she is now a Student Services Coordinator at El Dorado MS.

  12. Mr. T. Says:

    The superintendent change will hopefully be a good one. It’s my opinion that when you have a district with unhappy employees, that it will never be a success, and teachers are the heart and soul of any school district. Our most recent superintendent was not friendly to teachers. In general, teachers felt (and still do) unappreciated, unsupported, and beat down on. We know that in this economy that we need to do more with less, but the constant decisions being made to constantly ask for more and more, or even worse, just assume that teachers will do it all, is wrong and disrespectful. On top of that, teachers continue to get pay decreases in the form of health care costs, and there never seems to be a priority to even try to help teachers out financially. Bargaining is a constant battle, with the district and the superintendent trying to use their money for anything but teachers. All of this is ultimately the superintendents responsibility, and the last few have failed.
    I am hoping that the new leader for our district is more supportive of teachers, and I hope that she realizes that when you have happy employees that you have happy and productive students.
    The ongoing problem with teachers all across the country is that teachers will always do what’s right. They will continue to sacrifice themselves for their students. It’s my opinion that this district knows this well, and takes full advantage of that fact. Instead of viewing teachers as an easy target, and an unlimited resource, it would be nice to see the MDUSD value teachers and respect them. If this was done, we could actually see some great teachers blossom here (instead of leave the district) , and other great teachers come to our district. That’s not happening now, and it won’t until the district shows how much their primary employees are valued.


  13. Doctor J Says:

    Looks like Dublin hired a middle school principal from the ranks of MDUSD — a 5 year employee of Oak Grove, a former practicing attorney, and apparently highly thought of — right from under our noses. And we can’t even fill our own principalships ?

  14. Theresa Harrington Says:

    I wonder if she would have been interested in the Sequoia MS or Woodside Elementary principal jobs, had they been posted sooner.

  15. Doctor J Says:

    I wonder why Julie B-M doesn’t keep track of who has administrative credentials so MDUSD could groom some future Principals. Its not rocket science.

  16. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Linn Kissinger, Jose Espinoza and Liane Cismowski have been groomed from within. It’s unclear whether MDUSD has any sort of formal plan for providing leadership training to teachers or other staff interested in moving up. I think that might be one of the strategic plan goals. But, there has been no movement toward an “action plan” to implement the goals since the board revised them. It will likely fall to the new superintendent to come up with the action plan.

  17. Doctor J Says:

    Were they groomed or desperation ? Liane from HS VP to Elementary Principal for one year and then to HS Principal. I have a hard time calling that “grooming”. But her talents and credentials are impeccable.

  18. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Perhaps I should have just said “promoted” from within.

  19. Theresa Harrington Says:

    Here’s a new blog post with the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting, in case anyone wants to comment on any of the items:

  20. Annie V.P. CSEA Says:

    Liane was a great teacher. And I think she will be good for MT. She always has the students best interest. I know classified are not thought of very much when it come to a school being ran good and things getting done. I know how inportant teachers are, but so are we. Over 50% of my members are below poverty level when it comes to salary. SEA’s are the backbone for our special needs students, yet we are always over looked. All of my members work directly with students. So,remember there is a lot of other people that support students. When there is a sub in a class room it’s usually the assistant that does most of the work because they know what to do and know the students

  21. SR Says:

    What’s with the sudden exodus of Program Specialists? Are these truly retirements or has someone finally realized that a few (NOT ALL) of these people who “retired” had absolutely no idea what they were doing, what the law says (IDEA 2007), or how to administer an IEP plan and ensure proper placements for students with disabilities. Nor did any of these folks apparently advise the district leadership that moving kids with IEPs to different placements without consent of the parents and a signed IEP was ILLEGAL! That is still happening, by the way. With that said, I will state that there are a few folks in the SPED Department that I have run across who do know what they are doing and are able to follow the law and have the interests of these vulnerable students at heart. I have not had an interaction with Dr. Mills yet, but I am hopeful that things will improve under her direction and under the direction of the new Superintendent. Hope the new Program Specialists actually have a background in special needs kids and can truly assist families in finding the most appropriate placements for their students.

  22. anon Says:

    If Personnel can call lawyers every time they need to resolve a Personnel issue, why can’t the employees outsource Payroll? There are an army of overpaid managers who need to be cut by at least 50%. You have two payroll managers for over $200k supervising 6 people and doing absolutely horrible job. If Jule Braun Martin needs help to resolve every day issues and letting small things turn into big things – why do they constantly blame the workers. Just be big enough to admit this position is not for you, you don’t do it well, and let someone else with credentials in Personnel try. 30K a month for an attorney who is going to be nothing more than an attack dog for Personnel dropping the ball? So, since we have a history of outsourcing, let us take our payroll out. They are too busy getting bossed around by a feral employee anyway. Bythe way, kudo’s to Julie for not spotting garden variety jealousy. This payroll manager has chased off anyone she felt was more qualified or brought her errors to light. Why do we still need two attorneys? Julie has done nothing available to her including sending this woman home without pay, firing her, or busting her down to a basic, entry level job. Why Julie? Have a feeling this employee has been allowed to bully for a reason………

Leave a Reply